"B.C.'s New Democrat Party opposition has lost its sense of direction." So sayeth Bill Tieleman in a column published in today's edition of 24 hours. Mr. Tieleman, the former communications director for the British Columbia Federation of Labour and then Premier Glen Clark, writes that "a series of NDP political blunders have resulted in the Gordon Campbell Liberals enjoying a big advantage over the NDP in recent polls." And, even though "Carole James is an effective, personable and persuasive leader," if she and "her MLAs don't figure out how to be a strong opposition and hold the Liberals feet to the fire instead of burning their own, they will be sitting on the wrong side of the Legislature for many years to come." Of course, this isn't the first time a question mark has been publicly raised about the New Democrat's performance by a prominent personality from the left.
During the July 27 broadcast of Voice of BC, Doug McArthur - who served as the deputy minister to two New Democrat premiers - noted, "We've now had a complete session with Carole James and her caucus in Opposition to the government - her new expanded caucus. The success of the Opposition has been questioned by many. The polls show that the Liberals are up significantly and the NDP is down significantly. I think we all know and appreciate that amongst New Democrats - active New Democrats - one of the questions being asked is, 'Do we have the leadership that can do the job, and can we go through to the next election with the current leadership?'"